Technology | December 07, 2011

Ultrasonix and Ascension Introduce New Ultrasound Guidance Products

December 7, 2011 — Integration of Ascension's magnetic sensors with Ultrasonix's SonixTablet and SonixGPS Positioning System is expanding point-of-care procedures to new medical frontiers. At RSNA 2011, the companies will demonstrate the capability of ultrasound-sensor guidance to expedite nerve blocks, vascular access, central line placement, core biopsies of small organs, and fine needle aspiration.

In the last year, Ascension has developed a new generation of disposable sensors and integrated them in interventional instruments for use with Ultrasonix's recently released compact ultrasound platform.

With SonixGPS, a clinician can now position a transducer in the ideal location to find an internal target; they can also select the direction and angle of an interventional instrument that is safest and most comfortable for the patient. Whether in–plane or out-of-plane, the system's display shows the projected trajectory and true path of the instrument in real-time.

The inclusion of a miniaturized tracking sensor inside the ultrasound transducer and in the tip of the instrument, along with visualization software, makes it all possible. Tracking data allows the clinician to always see with certainty where the needle will intersect the ultrasound plane.

Importantly these procedures can now be performed without X-rays or fluoroscopy.

At RSNA, Ultrasonix and Ascension will demonstrate two of these new image-guided procedures:

  • Transjugular Intraheptic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS). A six degrees-of-freedom magnetic sensor has been integrated into the tip of a tube fitting into a 62 cm stylet. The sensor was developed to enable precise placement of a stent between the portal vein and one of three hepatic veins. Once performed with X-ray guidance, the procedure can now be performed with ultrasound and sensors alone.   
  • Placement of Central Lines. A five degrees-of-freedom sensor has been integrated into the tip of a guidewire with an outer diameter of 0.55 mm (0.021 inch). The device was developed to clearly see ultrasound images for PICC and CVC line access. From cannulation to localization in the patient's superior vena cava, the guidewire tip can be accurately threaded through the internal venous anatomy to its ideal placement location.   

The new technology will be on display in Ascension’s booth (#9339) at RSNA 2011.

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